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The capacity of Riga Technical University (RTU) in promoting entrepreneurial skills and developing the business environment has been highly evaluated by the international ranking World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI), where RTU ranked 36th in the Entrepreneurial Spirit category. In total, RTU was placed 101–200 in the WURI ranking. None of the Baltic universities has reached so high results in this ranking.
In the Entrepreneurial Spirit category, the RTU efforts have been evaluated to develop entrepreneurial skills in students, so that apart from obtaining a degree in engineering, they could also be capable of creating innovations and developing their own business activities, to become not only employees but also employers.
For example, in the Innovation Grants for Students programme, innovative thinking and creative skills in creating new products are trained. This programme was launched in 2019 by using the university’s own financing and that of the European Regional Development Fund, which allows students to receive grants for participating in creativity promoting activities.
By improving their support to students, scientists and undertakings in creating innovations and added-value products and services, RTU established the Science and Innovation Centre (SIC), which is planned as a one-stop innovation agency, on the basis of the prototyping centre – RTU Design Factory.
In this Centre, RTU Design Factory, which by now has been providing both technical support in creating prototypes and has been ensuring an opportunity to get additional knowledge in developing entrepreneurial skills, continues developing different programmes, including the Innovation Grants for Students, whereas engineers of the Innovative Product Development Division actively cooperate with companies and scientists to assist them in creating high added value products, the Innovation Ecosystem Development Division facilitates the RTU involvement in national and international innovation and technology ecosystems, whereas the Research Equipment Division ensures modern research equipment, and the High Performance Computing (or HPC) Centre develops usage of digital technology in research.
RTU is the only Baltic university to be included in the Entrepreneurial Spirit category of the ranking. Whereas in the general ranking, Tartu University from Estonia, as well as Kaunas University of Technology and Vytautas Magnus University from Lithuania, have been placed 201–300.
WURI is an international university ranking system designed to measure the contribution of universities in society development, focusing on achievements of universities in promoting creativity and innovations. This ranking was established by the Hanseatic League of Universities, uniting universities which focus on innovations in studies and science.